I hate waiting. You probably do too. Yet it’s something we all must do. For example, did you know that according to AAA Insurance, the average American will spend 58.6 hours waiting at red lights every 365 days?
Yes, like it or not, we do a lot of waiting. But the kind of waiting I’ve been doing lately is unlike anything I’ve experienced. After several tests, CT scans, etc., I now know I have stage 4 ovarian cancer.
But the waiting hasn’t stopped.
I must wait for insurance approvals (a pain in the neck and other places!), wait on hold, wait for doctor appointments, blood work, chemotherapy, surgery, and recovery. Then I will need to wait (and hope) to be sure cancer has been completely eradicated from my body.
Currently, I’m waiting for the drainage of fluid that has built up around my lung and in my abdomen … again. These were two uncomfortable procedures I had done only ten days ago, but the cancer cells found a way, and the fluid has returned. This, of course, requires authorization by my oncologist and then the insurance company’s approval, and finally scheduling of the two procedures. All the while, I’m very bloated and struggling to breathe normally. It’s pretty miserable and frustrating, to say the least!
Meanwhile, I’m also waiting for a date to start chemotherapy. My oncologist recommends three rounds of chemo and then surgery to remove the mass. This is another one of those processes where we must get authorization from the oncologist, send it to the insurance company, wait on approval, and then schedule the appointment. I was told all was approved to begin chemo, but the soonest I can have a virtual consult (due to COVID!) with the doctor who administers chemotherapy is March 11. The chemo is not expected to begin until a week or two later. This just seems unacceptable! I have stage 4 cancer!
Oh, Lord. I need you to move mountains. Make a way. And Father, I need your patience during this process. I know that You are in control of all things.
Waiting requires patience— and true patience comes from the Lord.
Patience is a gift of the Holy Spirit (Galatians 5:22-23). All believers have the Holy Spirit living within them which means we all have access to this gift.
Gift or not, patience has a negative connotation. You know what they say, “Don’t pray for patience. If you do, God will give you a difficult experience to teach you.”
“Give me patience, God. And give it to me NOW!”
Like anyone, I want a quick fix for cancer—something to make the difficulty go away and pronto! But the Lord has offered me love in the midst of my pain, His presence in the loneliness, and His peace to overshadow fear.
Something I’ve learned on this cancer journey is patience and peace go hand in hand.
When I’m impatient, peace evaporates and fear closes in.
“But they who ‘wait’ for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” Isaiah 40:31
I memorized the scripture above in the New Living Translation where the word “wait” is translated as “trust.” In the New International Version the word for “wait” is “hope.”
For those who (wait, trust, hope) in the Lord will renew their strength. Makes sense to me. Once again, I’m amazed how God is always illuminating a new concept even in a scripture I have known for years.
So, as I navigate the turbulent waters with cancer, I am learning more about the character of God. I’m also learning more about myself. The fruit of the Holy Spirit has come alive in new ways. Although this is not the way I would have chosen, the Lord offered a journey into the deep places of my heart. And guess what? I have discovered the truth that the Spirit of the Lord is already in those places, groaning in my soul, beckoning me to follow Him into truth, love, grace, and peace.
Patience is indeed a virtue from the Lord. I’m grateful for the lessons He is teaching me. His love and care are palpable as He wraps His arms around me and whispers, “Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
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